Monday, June 16, 2008

Getting To Know Disneyland, Great Food, Kiasu-ism At Its Best

I had my first breakfast in Staybridge Suites, Anaheim on 18th May, which was part of the hotel package. I walked one round the buffet area, and started to miss Oklahoma all over again.
1) The breakfast spread in Oklahoma was bigger and better.
2) The eggs in Oklahoma were REAL scrambled eggs, not some pancake-looking pieces of eggs which tasted like flour.
3) There was only caffinated or decaf tea. In Oklahoma, we had green tea, chamomile, earl grey, etc., on top of the caffinated and decaf red ceylon tea.
4) One big bowl of plain yoghurt makes me wonder if they clear out the yoghurt or just keep topping it up. In Oklahoma, yoghurt was served as above and we had Yoplait.
5) In Oklahoma we have cheese sauce!!! Over here, we have shredded cheddar.
6) Maybe its because I had been eating this for 3 weeks already, I'm starting to get picky. Bo pian right? So have to make do with whatever I felt like eating lor.

The night before, we were discussing not to take the Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) to Disneyland Resort, but instead, walk and get to know the bearings of the place. So after breakfast, we walked to Disneyland Resort. It was not a long walk and we noted on the map eateries that we would want to go to fill our stomachs with. The entire area is called the Disneyland Resort. Once you pass the security check area, you enter the Main Entry Plaza where you will see the ticketing area next. As we had the entire package done for us by Disney, our tickets were already given to us in an envelope when we checked into the hotel the night before, so we did not have to queue to get tickets.The Downtown Disney District will then be in front of you. It is where the Disney Hotels are and the entire area there is almost like a small town, complete with eateries and shops. To the right is where Disneyland Park is, and to the left is where California Adventure Park is. We had the 5-day Park Hopper Tickets, meaning that we have access to both Parks, everyday for 5 days!As both Parks were huge and we did not know how or where to start, we decided to first get the maps, take a look and then start walking around. Within each Park, there were different sections of different themes/"worlds"/era, which made deciding even harder. We then noticed that Disneyland Park had a few modes of transportation within the park. So we decided to hop onto those, starting from Main Street, to get an overview of the park and let us have a better understanding of how to move around.At the stop in Tommorrowland, we dropped off.We then continued on the Railroad back to Main Street. Main Street is practically a street. Along this street, you can find a vistor center (City Hall), a musemum, shops and eateries. To get to to the other sections, where most of the action is, you would have to walk down this street, whether you like it or not, as they are situated on the other end. Although it only takes a short while to walk up and down Main Street, for the lazy ones (hehe), there are Main Street Vehicles that you can take from one end to the other end of Main Street.There is also a Horseless Carriage, but I didn't manage to get a picture of it. These Main Street Vehicles are only one-way and we only realised it when we were on the Omnibus, the only one we sat on. As we reached to the end where the attractions are, everyone got down, but we didn't bother. The driver then called out to us and told us that the bus only goes one-way and if we wanted to ride it back to Main Street, we would have to take the next one. As we got down, he asked where we were from. I had heard enough "horror" stories about how people thought where Singapore was, so I was kinda thinking, this guy better know his geography. My dad answered Singapore, and one way to tell that he at least knows Singapore is not in China and in Asia was when he said that it was a small country, his wife is from Thailand and although he was working for Korean Air, he did not get a chance to visit Singapore. I then asked if we could join the queue and take the same bus back to the other end of Main Street. He said that we are able to, just that because it is a one-way vehicle, technically, we would have to get down and join the queue.
There were different shows, character meets and bands playing throughout the day and nightly parades in both Parks. There are also some shows which take place along the open areas that only happen on weekends. A lesson I learnt is to really take a look at the show schedules and different opening hours of the Park to help plan your way through the Parks. Since its a Sunday, and the fireworks only happen on weekends and we were hungry, we decided to have lunch, move to California Adventure Park for the rest of the day and then come back later for the fireworks.Luckily we only order 2 mains, don't see picture small small, the servings were huge lor. The fish was fresh and the sauce was yummy. The ribs were soft and chicken, was just normal grilled chicken. The salad, was just salad. But overall, the food was really quite nice. But the pancakes, ohhhh, the pancakes, killer sia! I'ver NEVER EVER eaten such FLUFFY and SOFT pancakes ever before in my entire life!!! I want IHop in Singapore!!! And so, after the damn filling lunch, we proceeded on with the itinerary for the day.We had missed the showtimes there for the day and so we went straight for the rides and attractions, coming back another day just for the shows.Every inch of the Parks has a damn good set design which relates to the theme/"world"/era of the sections and even right down to the different attractions and the area surrounding it, such as the queue area. Take the Monsters Inc ride for example, it was done up to look like transport terminal with posters around it.It was a playground of sorts for little children with an area where they can play with water and splash around (think Bugis Juction fountain and Vivo City), and lots of teeny weeny sized rides. Already damn impressed with the set design earlier on, I really felt like a character insect in A Bug's Life when I saw this.We then walked over to the Golden State section, set up with a western/ cowboy/ historical feel, which covered almost half the Park. It was subdivided into several different areas. We walked around Pacific Wharf and learnt how tortillas and sourdough bread were made. We caught a film by Whoopi Goldberg called Golden Dreams about the history of California at The Bay Area. As we had to rush back to "chope" a good place for the fireworks happening at the other Park, we did not manage to cover the whole of Golden State. We quickly took some picture of Paradise Pier (another "world" in California Adventure Park) and went back to the Disneyland Park. But the best thing is, we don't know where to stand! As we have heard that the fireworks will appear in the sky above the castle of Fantasyland, we decided to stand sit on Main Street. But which exact spot? Since Main Street is a street, a straight road, and if you stand on the entrance gate end of Main Street and look straight ahead, Fantasyland is directly in front of you, we decided that was the best spot. We were right when we spotted Disney's cameramen behind us and there was this uncle who had set up his videocam and tripod. And we waited for about 40 minutes, with more people joining us at our good spot 25 minutes later. The entire display was 15 minutes long, so I can't possibly load it here, so, here is a snippet of the display.

With the end of the fireworks, the day ends and we made our way back to the hotel via the ART.

Day 2 of Disneyland coming right up!

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